Photograph of the 165-foot cutter Icarus. (U.S. Coast Guard)

The Long Blue Line: Icarus – WWII combat cutter, OPC namesake

In 1942, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Icarus, commanded by Lt. Maurice Jester, sank German U-352 off the coast of North Carolina. Shortly after sinking, the Coast Guard crew rescued 33 survivors of the 48-man crew – they were the first enemy combatants captured by U.S. forces in World War II. The cutter was decommissioned in 1948 but will soon live on as the namesake of the sixth in the first flight of Offshore Patrol Cutters in the “Heritage”-class.


The Long Blue Line: Maurice Jester

The Coast Guard recently released the names of the newest Fast Response Cutters to be commissioned. Each FRC is named after a Coast Guard hero. One such Coast Guardsman is Maurice Jester, a WWII hero.


U-352’s Kapitanlieutenant Hellmut Rathke’s painting of his U-boat underway. (Courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

The Long Blue Line: Cutter Icarus and the sinking of U-352

Icarus was the second American warship to sink a U-boat and the first to capture German combatants. For his command of Icarus in the attack and sinking of U-352, Lt. Maurice Jester received one of only six Navy Cross Medals awarded to Coast Guardsmen during the war. Icarus was one of numerous combat cutters that served the heroic Coast Guardsmen of the long blue line during World War II.